Quick, versatile and easy, a beef stir-fry is great for weekday suppers, when you have no time for complicated dishes. You can make it with whatever fresh vegetables you have available: red peppers, mangetout, carrots, courgettes and mushrooms all make for nutritious and tasty combinations with the lean beef.
The important thing to remember with beef stir fry is that you should use a good cut of lean meat. The meat is marinated before cooking to tenderize it, but no amount of marinating will making stewing meat tender enough for the quick cooking of a stir fry, so go for beef fillet or shoulder steak.
Recipe for Beef Stir-fry
450g / 1lb lean beef steak
2 teaspoons rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornflour
salt and pepper
1 red or green pepper
200g mangetout or other green vegetables
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
150ml stock or water
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
Slice the beef thinly into 5cm slices. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, sesame oil, cornflour and a seasoning of salt and pepper in a bowl and toss the beef slices in it. Leave to marinade while you prepare the vegetables: 20-30 minutes is best.
Slice the peppers into thin strips about 5 cm long. Cut your other vegetables into similar sized strips, sticks or slices.
When you are ready to cook, heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Pour in the peanut oil and when it smokes slightly, take the beef out of the marinade and put it into the pan. Stir fry for three minutes until it is cooked through.
Using a slotted spoon remove the beef from the pan onto a warm plate. Add the sliced vegetables to the wok and stir fry for two minutes over a high heat. Add the stock or water and the oyster sauce and bring to a simmer. Tip the beef back into the pan and stir well so it warms through again.
Serve immediately with plain steamed or boiled rice.
In the mood for an authentic Chinese beef stir-fry? Eat out at Oriental Pearl restaurant in Nottingham.